Buying A Used 2013 Ford Explorer Isn’t Recommended

We have a lemon alert! Watch out for the 2013 Ford Explorer. It has a significant amount of issues that you’ll be better off avoiding. The 2013 Ford Explorer earned a Clunker badge from Car Complaints, making it one of the worst model years you could buy. 

Avoid the 2013 Ford Explorer 

Carcomplaints and the NHTSA have several reported issues for the 2013 Ford Explorer that come from actual drivers. Drivers reviewed the 2013 Ford Explorer and shared the problems that they ran into. 

2020 Ford Explorer ST driving down the road
2020 Ford Explorer ST | Ford

This allowed Carcomplaints to determine that the 2013 Ford Explorer is one of the worst model years. Also, the NHTSA is responsible for vehicle safety in the United States, so if they received many complaints that they decided were unsafe, then that’s not a good sign. 

2013 Ford Explorer paint problems 

One of the most popular 2013 Ford Explorer issues includes a ton of paint issues. Drivers discovered that the paint on the hood of their SUVs was bubbling, chipping, and peeling very early on, before five years of ownership. 

Some of the Ford Explorers had bubbling paint spread across the front of the vehicle, but Ford didn’t cover it. Some drivers faced a $1,200 fee to have the issue repaired, and others suggest that Ford should issue a recall for this problem. 

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As early as 34k miles, some drivers found that the paint bubbles on the hood, liftgate, and doors of their Ford Explorers started rusting. One driver even noticed that the rust corroded their hood and created holes. 

2013 Ford Explorer body issues 

The NHTSA compiled 153 complaints about the 2013 Ford Explorer Body. One driver found that their interior door handle didn’t return to the correct position. This problem was $150 to fix and turned out to be a cheaper issue than the rest. 

Ford Explorer Hybrid parked in sand
Ford Explorer Hybrid | Ford

Another driver experienced water leaking from the subframe of their 2013 Ford Explorer. Upon further expectation, the roof was separating from the subframe, and the vehicle was determined to be unsafe to drive. 

Also, one driver found that water was leaking into their spare wheel well. They found 1” of standing water. Upon further investigation, drivers found that water seemed to be leaking into their Ford Explorers from the top of the liftgate.  

 2013 Ford Explorer engine complaints 

The 2013 Ford Explorer has also accrued quite a few engine complaints. Some Ford Explorer drivers had their vehicle randomly stall on the highway while driving at highway speeds, creating a hazardous problem. 

Another driver started experiencing a weak acceleration that was accompanied by a check oil light. But their oil level was fine. When they went to the dealership, the technicians assumed the problem was caused by lack of maintenance, but the driver suggests they took excellent care of their Ford Explorer and changed the oil regularly. 

Jim Hackett (R), president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and President of Global Operations Jim Farley speak at the reveal of the new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV at Ford Field
The 2020 Ford Explorer | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

One driver noticed a strange smell when accelerating, like the scent of eggs. When taken to the dealership, technicians suggested the smell was normal. Other drivers experienced a loss of power while driving and a loud engine whine that quickly led to their engines stalling.